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Heroin

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1 Your Role
I want to learn about treatment options for:


2 Basic Information
The Person is:
years old


graduated high school

3 Condition Information
Caron Treatment Centers accepts patients aged 13 years or older. For more information on services available to those 12 and under, please learn more about Caron's Student Assistance Program.
What is heroin?

Heroin—also known as smack, h, ska or junk—is an opiate and central nervous system depressant processed from morphine. Although the Center for Disease Control reports that heroin use has remained flat among teens in recent years, youths remain vulnerable to this highly addictive drug.

Teens use heroin by snorting, smoking or injecting it. For many teens, non-injection methods make it psychologically easier to start using heroin. According to Dr. Herb Kleber, Director of The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), removing the needle barrier lets teens delude themselves that such use is not dangerous or addicting. Despite this common misconception, all methods of heroin use can cause addiction and death from overdose.

The addictive power of heroin should not be underestimated. Use among teens often destroys educations, careers, health, relationships and entire lives.

Signs of teenage heroin use.

Teens who abuse or are addicted to heroin may exhibit the following signs:

  • Frequent need to be alone (addicts require about three doses per day)
  • Sedation (slowed gate, nodding off)
  • Needing extra money
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe itching
  • Clouded mental functions
  • Infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis (from injection needles)
  • Collapsed veins
  • Infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Abscesses at the injection location(s)
  • Liver or kidney disease

If teens do not or are unable to continue heroin use, they may exhibit the following withdrawal symptoms a few hours after their last doses:

  • Severe stomach aches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold flashes
  • Goose bumps
  • Involuntary leg movements

Getting help for your teen.

Heroin addiction is very serious and requires professional attention from detox to follow-up care. Find out your teen can achieve long-term sobriety with treatment.